3 Top Takeaways from the InterACT Direct Marketing Conference
Sandy Carter of IBM. Vivian Rosenthal of GoldRun. Rod Brooks of Stop Hunger Now. These names represent thought leaders who are on the cutting edge of direct marketing strategy—who know how to innovate and integrate—and they'll all be speaking during InterACT!, a Virtual Conference & Expo, which will take place online from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Aug. 23, 2011.
Carter, Rosenthal and Brooks are among 20 presenters who will speak about the most up-to-date direct marketing practices out there, while other presenters will be helping marketers put the concepts into practice—immediately. Take the 45-minute workshop happening at 1:30 p.m. "Hands-on Workshop—Create Your Own QR Code, PURL, App, Short Code." Attendees will literally take away these skills, building each item themselves during the workshop.
Free registration entitles attendees to learn about the interaction between marketing channels by exploring best practices, trends and case studies that play to each channel's strength in integrated campaigns in order to drive more revenue.
"When we five editors, each of whom covers several marketing channels, put our heads together with our advisory board of seven top marketers from drastically different sectors to create an agenda for a virtual show about integrated marketing, the list of ideas produced was daunting," says Ethan Boldt, chief content officer of DirectMarketingIQ and co-organizer of InterACT! "But after some careful picking and pruning, we ended up with the most cutting-edge topics of the day. And along with must-listen sessions that revolve around best practices, we decided that was not enough. Everyone, from any type of business, loves case studies to find out the details behind the successful campaigns of today … and that's exactly what we deliver in our case study track that represents practically every channel."
Conferees will hear Boldt and these other organizers moderating sessions, case studies and workshops: Melissa Campanelli, editor-in-chief at Retail Online Integration and eMarketing & Commerce (eM+C) magazines; Heather Fletcher, senior editor of Target Marketing magazine; Thorin McGee, editor-in-chief of Target Marketing magazine; and Mark T. Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions magazine.
But what will remain long after the conference ends is the knowledge attendees will gain from keynoter Carter, vice president of social business evangelism and sales at IBM Corp. With a new book coming out in September on the subject, Carter is well-versed in helping marketers create a "Social Business Agenda." and will leave attendees with this lesson:
- A culture eats strategy for lunch—create a digital council;
- Gain a "trust plan" and a "friend plan"—they are "Social Business" musts;
- Exceptional experiences engage everyone—hire a community manager;
- Network processes. "Business processes are the soul of your company. To change, you must embed social into that soul.";
- Design for reputation and risk management. "Create your 'Brand Army'; hire a reputation manager"; and
- Analytics is the new black.
In a case study presentation, delegates will learn how Carnival Cruise Lines retains customers with "social media efforts, actionable search behavioral insight and innovative email lifecycle programs."
And Vivian Rosenthal—founder and CEO of GoldRun, an augmented reality (AR) app—will illustrate how the technology can be used on mobile devices, computers, television, game consoles and other viewing mediums. Marketers and brand managers will come away from the educational session knowing how:
- Traditional businesses are maintaining an interactive, digital dialog with consumers through AR;
- How the product itself can be used to drive people to brand websites and physical destinations;
- How companies are creating digital revenues with AR without changing their existing business models; and
- How to use AR to create buzz for their brand, help drive traffic and activate their fans and attract new customers.
Not listed on the conference agenda, but what is sure to impress, is the new face of the virtual show. Attendees can customize their consoles, tweet directly from the consoles and click the "share" icon to pass information along to colleagues. For those choosing to attend the "Hands-on Workshop," for instance, this will be especially helpful when one of the presenters asks delegates to alert her to their work through the hashtag #InterACThandson.
So with speakers galore, exhibit hall, networking lounge and more, InterACT! is a lot like a physical direct marketing conference—only better. Because it all comes right to your desk.